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Ribston Hall High School

Ribston HallHigh School

Homework: Valuable or a Waste of Time?

As we all know, homework is a tedious task that every person has to do. But what most people don’t realise is that it’s actually much more useful than others may lead you to think…

Image result for bbc homeworkSo, what are the advantages of homework? Homework lets you research your topic more excessively during your own time as well as helping you manage your workload. Many schools in the UK are now using a brilliant app called Show My Homework; this app lets you see what homework you have to complete and their due dates. It also notifies you deadlines or daily updates, such as a new piece of homework being set. Not only is it undoubtedly a great tool for students, but teachers can use it as well! Teachers are able to set homework and have access to a calendar which displays their upcoming classes.

Furthermore, homework can ensure that you understand a certain topic and if not, you will at least know what to revise. It also helps teachers track your progress which is essential for a better educational experience.

But despite homework being a good way to hone your skills and expand your knowledge, several things could be affected by doing homework.

For example, students’ attentiveness and work ethic could be influenced by completing unwanted homework. Children who are uninterested in the subject will most likely lose concentration and focus on something they find more enjoyable. In addition, homework can make pupils feel exhausted or incredibly stressed due to the sheer amount of effort they are expected to contribute to their homework.

Overall though, when used effectively, homework is a great way to succeed at school.

By Scarlet

 

UK parents are less likely to help children with homework

A recent survey commissioned by the Varkey Foundation has revealed statistics on the attitudes and priorities of parents from 29 different countries. Some of the findings show that only 11% of UK parents will spend an hour helping their children with homework. Whereas an astounding 62% of Indian parents spent an hour or more assisting their children with homework per night. This an Image result for bbc homeworkastonishing 51% difference between the countries.

Although the UK aren’t the greatest ‘Homework Helpers’ we do have one of the highest percentages of teachers valuing parents through the survey at 87%. But coming in top with a 92% population of teachers praising parents is Kenya.

There were many common attitudes recorded within the countries but the most prominent British one was a concern that their children’s future would be influenced or affected by conflict. This concern is mirrored in many European countries such as France and Germany.

Compared to other countries Britain is much more likely to put emphasis on their children’s educational happiness and success. So do you think that British parents are just straightforward lazy or are they taking a different approach to parenting? You decide.

By Lucy P & Katie

 

Revision Tips & Coping with GCSE Exam Stress

GCSES are the most important time of the year for all Year 11 students across the country, but how do you manage revision and stress to perform at your best?

Image result for stress bbcStressing about exams has become the norm for a lot of teenagers, and for many taking GCSEs is an incredibly challenging time.  Sticking to routines and breaking out of bad habits can be extremely valuable for your body during these periods but sometimes it’s not easy to ensure that you’re respecting your limits; exams have to come first. Although some people will benefit more with different changes, trial and error is a good way to start.

First of all, you need to be aware of when you’re under stress. If you choose to disregard it, it will only make matters worse. Having a regular sleep schedule will help- your body needs time to recharge! If your sleep pattern is irregular it may be hard for your body to adapt to the work you’re doing. It’s all well and good going to bed early before your exam, but if you don’t keep up with it then you sleep will still be inconsistent. Aim to get a decent night’s sleep every night.

You should also make sure you are eating well. Your body needs nutrients if you’re planning to revise. If you’re not a breakfast eater, grab a small snack on your way out to school, like a granola bar to boost your energy.  Avoid dehydration by drinking plenty of water.

Make sure to stick to whatever revising technique works for you; don’t end up comparing yourself to what your friends. If you work best doing flashcards, continue to do them. To get organised you could consider making a sensible time table for your subjects. If you don’t know where to start, there’s some ideas below!

After you’ve done exams, it’s so easy to dwell on your answers. Say no to exam ‘post-mortem’ because the exam is done now, you can’t go back and change it. Always keep in mind that there is life after exams, it may seem like the centre of your world now, but your exam scores won’t reflect everything about you and panicking about marks you lost isn’t productive.

Tips to make revision less traumatic:

  • Create a revision timetable as this will allow you to evenly revise all subjects and organise which topics you need to focus on. Keeping revision varied will also help you keep focus.
  • Try different revision methods depending on what works for you. Flashcards and mind maps are great if you like visual revision. You can even put them on the walls around your house!
  • Help each other! Invite a friend round so you can test each other.
  • Try and listen to music. We all have our favourite song to jam out to, or a good classic love ballad to sing in the shower, but several scientific studies have proved that listening to classical music can improve work ethic. If you struggle with this, sites such as rainymood.com play calming rain sounds.
  • Reward yourself. Pick up some of your favourite snacks and each time you complete a task, give yourself a treat!
  • Look, Cover Check. This is a classic way to memorise key information. If you have trouble remembering facts and dates, this method is a great way to help you. You can do this by yourself, or a parent or friend can test you.
  • Social media blackout. You need to be completely focused to take in all the information. Power off your phone and ask a parent to keep it to avoid the temptation to go on social media.
  • Take regular breaks- go and chat to your parents or take a walk. Studies have shown that taking 5-10 minute breaks every hour can dramatically increase productivity

By Eirlys, Lucy T & Scarlet

 

Pros and Cons of listening to music while studying

Image result for bbc headphonesPros

Reduce Stress: Research has found that listening to music daily can decrease stress levels by triggering biochemical stress reducers. Naturally, when we are less stressed we are able to perform tasks more productively.

Elevate Mood: A 2013 study discovered that music puts people in a better mood and gets in touch with your feelings. The participants of the study felt that the most significant benefits of listening to music were ‘mood regulation’ and ‘self-awareness’. If music improves mood, then you are more likely to enjoy your work if you are listening to some.

Improve Cognitive Performance: Background music had been proven to enhance performance on cognitive tasks. Listening to music allowed test takers to complete more questions in the time allotted, and get more answers right. Consequently, this shows a positive aspect to listening to music in the long term to prepare for exams such as GCSEs and A-Levels.

Cons

Memory: Recent studies have shown that, particularly when memorising something in order, listening can have negative impacts on your studying effectiveness. A 2010 study explored how music can interfere with short-term memory potential. The words have an ability to throw you off and can confuse you. Although I have previously said about cognitive performance, when carrying out a memory task, it acts as a major distraction.

Distraction: If you’re like me, then when listening to music you feel the urge to get up and dance, or even sing along. However, when you need to buckle down and get on with some schoolwork this isn’t the best thing to do and can actually deter you from working.

Overall, it think music is not inflicting on our study, however that’s not to suggest possible health implications from listening for too long. To conclude my article, my opinion is that listening to music is your own personal choice. I find it distracting but some don’t. So listen away!

By Evie G

 

Is Technology Affecting Our Learning?

Technology has developed greatly over the past few decades. As everyone is aware, there are many positive impacts of having access to such advanced software such as helping with school and work reports. But there must be negative aspects to the internet, right?

Since the first social media app was created, it has been a great attraction for teenagers as well as adults. With the development of apps such as Instagram and Snapchat, teenagers and school children are prone to spending too much time on social media and less time studying, thus causing exam results to deteriorate.

A Pew survey taken in 2014 tells us that 94% of teens say they use social media; Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat being the most popular, and 71% say they use multiple social media sites.

With social media being such a huge part of their lives, teens are getting pressured to keep a good image online instead of focusing on important school work. A survey conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health shows us that in some cases, the repeated use of social media makes teens more likely to develop anxiety, depression, low self-esteem or loneliness.

Social media, of course, also leaves a lot of space for online bullies to terrorise other teenagers, which puts even more pressure on students. At their age, children should not be worrying about their social image or what to post on their Instagram, they should be focusing on what is really important in this stage in life, such as trying to decide what career to chase.

Not only this, but teens and young children that have grown up with social media spend most of their free time in front of screens or on their phones, when they are or should be doing homework. Of course, before social media, teenagers found other creative ways to avoid their schoolwork, however there was way more real-life interaction in their lives than after the creation of social media websites. “As a species we are very highly attuned to reading social cues,” says Dr Catherine Steiner-Adair, a clinical psychologist. Children today seem to be lacking critical social skills that you cannot gain from texting someone.

So what can be done about this? People have long ago realised that once something is released, it is very difficult to take it away from people. However, parents and guardians need to restrict the use of social media in their houses as much as possible. This way, teenagers and children will still be able to use their favourite sites, whilst still being able to concentrate on their studies as well as on socialising with their friends in real life. With more variation in their lives, teens will be encouraged to do better in school.

By Annie

 

The Languages Challenge at Ribston Hall

What is the languages challenge?

The Languages Challenge is a collaborative project generated for students in Years 7- 10 to reward pupils who are ambitious in modern foreign languages. The participant considers which language that they would like to study and attempts different challenges. This then enables them to practice their chosen language; engaging in the country’s culture, traditions and rituals. The language challenge is an individual process allowing students to independently learn a unique language. Teachers generally cannot assist in the challenges; therefore, students should decide the language to learn based on the lessons at school (for example, French, German or Spanish) Alternatively, you can learn a language spoken by a family member. Overall, the aim of the languages challenge is to earn 100 points. The main aim is to have fun and improve your linguistic skills. This could encourage your future occupation and give you the opportunity to advance around the world, connecting with a range of different people.

How does it work? On Monday 15th January the initial meeting on the languages challenge explained the basic rules of the challenge. Each Monday, the MFL teachers are there to help, so don’t worry if you missed it. You are given a sheet with 7 categories to better your language: learning the basics, cultivate your talents, research, culture, creativity, resources and futures within that language. Situated in them are recommended challenges to accommodate you when learning your language. Each challenge is worth a value of either: 5,10 or 15 points depending on the quality and effort involved.

The System:

  • 5 points- knowledge of the language and country, recognising key points. Investigate a main topic of interest to yourself in another language.
  • 10 points- Immersing yourself properly to make conversation in your language. Produce a grammar guide. Use it to help other people and get feedback on how helpful it was and adapt it accordingly.
  • 15 points- Create computer resources for language learning. Demonstrate them to your teacher.

Upon completing a task, attend the Monday meetings and present evidence to the teacher. Photos, signatures, summaries, videos, documents or power points are clear confirmations of your work. The task will be ticked off your list and you can concentrate on the next category. Once you achieve 100 points and all 7 categories are complete, give your folder to a languages tutor. In May (the end of the challenge) every student that accomplished the challenge will receive a languages badge on their blazer, a Languages East certificate and 10 hours on your Children’s University Passport. Furthermore, this will look great on a C.V and university applications.

By Faith

 

Should We Wear School Uniform?

Image result for school uniform bbc

According to reports, parents are paying an extortionate £50 million on their children’s school uniforms. However, wouldn’t this cost rise even more if we had to wear our own outfits each day?

Parents have hardly any choices of where they can get school clothes from, it’s just pricey uniform shops. This is a particular nuisance when very similar items of uniform can be found in supermarkets for less than half of the price.

However, School uniform provides us with security, we always know what we’re wearing and that we, and other pupils at school, will all look the same. It provides the school with a sense of identity too. School uniform can prevent bullying. If pupils were to wear less fashionable or different clothing from others, they could be a target for school bullies. Especially for less fortunate children, who can only afford limited amounts of clothing, it could result in teasing from their peers.

We could also argue that school uniform saves us so much hassle. It means that we don’t have to prepare many different outfits each week!

Others may say that school uniform prevents us from expressing ourselves. If we are all dressed exactly the same, then where is the individuality? It prevents us from being creative and more experimental with clothing, as this is only possible at weekends. It is also thought that wearing school uniform doesn’t really affect bullying; pupils can be picked on for wearing uniform in the wrong way or having the wrong type of school shoes. We should remember that bullies will always find something to comment on, uniforms maybe wouldn’t affect this.

In my opinion, school uniform isn’t such a bad thing. Although it can be uncomfortable, it is easy and practical. It would be nice to wear our own clothes more often, but after a couple of weeks the novelty would probably wear off.

By Violette